You’d be forgiven for thinking that Northcote is nothing more than hippies and, uh, hippies. In fact, its buzzing High Street is home to some of Melbourne’s best cafes, restaurants, independent shops and chill-out hubs. Time to get to know this northside neighbourhood, Listers!
If you’re looking for one of the best restaurants in Melbourne that doesn’t come with the typical stuffy attitude, Estelle Bistro is difficult to top. One of the pioneers of edible flowers on the Melbourne dining scene, the dishes are as beautiful as they are delicious. Booking recommended.
Myrtle’s Crepes & Coffee
There’s officially nothing better than crepes and booze, and Myrtle’s Crepes & Coffee do a great trade in both (and coffee, obvs). The staff are friendly, the atmosphere’s relaxed, and the menu is comprised of some of the best crepes in Melbourne. Think you know how good Nutella can be? You don’t until you’ve tried Myrtle’s Crepes & Coffee’s choc-stuffed delight. Pure, gooey heaven.
Brunch in Melbourne doesn’t get better than at Northcote coffee and food institution, Barry. Think epic scrambled eggs and breakfast greens, rich cold drip coffees and some of the best ricotta hotcakes on the northside. In for lunch? The lamb burger does it every time!
Coffee, sorbet and drool-worthy gelato, every day except Monday. Hello, Il Melograno!
The Wesley Anne
A classic old pub with some awesome live music nights and a kitchen that plates up some of the best pub food in Melbourne, The Wesley Anne is a cracking venue for after-work and weekend drinks. As well as having a great dining room and front bar, you’ll also find a cute back garden at The Wesley Anne. The perfect start to the night before heading to…
Oh, if these walls could talk. Francesca’s Bar, in all it’s glittering, gold-wallpapered glory, serves up some of the best cocktails in Melbourne to late-night revellers on Northcote’s High Street. They also throw one of the best starts to the weekend, dubbed ‘Friyay’. Francesca, we love you.
Joe’s Shoe Store
Think we’ve put this in the wrong category, do ya? Joe’s Shoe Store is in fact a bar that serves up some of the best booze in Northcote. The atmosphere is friendly and low-key, making it the ideal venue to catch up with mates for an evening or weekend drink, and you can get pizza delivered from Pizza Meine Leibe, which just so happens to be next door. On the sunnier days, you’ll even be able to step outside for some bocce. Pizza, beer and competitive sports? Hell yes!
Australian fashion label Obus always blows us away with its stunning colour palettes and to-die-for ensembles! The brand’s Northcote store is definitely worth dropping into, whether it’s for a spot of window shopping or picking up a whole season’s-worth of threads.
I Dream A Highway
Handmade jewellery, leather shoes, womenswear, menswear, hats, watches…I Dream A Highway keeps absolutely every dapper fashion piece and accessory you could want! The perfect Northcote shop for picking up last-minute birthday gifts, which I’ve done many times when en route to celebrations at The Wesley Anne.
Clean-eaters, this one’s for you! Terra Madre is one of Melbourne’s best health food stores, selling a variety of organic and cruelty-free produce, including raw nuts, seeds, grains, desserts and more. It’s one of the only health food stores in the area with an in-house naturopath too—drop by for some top advice on what you should be eating and drinking, Listers.
Gravity Floatation Centre
Floatation therapy is taking Melbourne by storm, and these guys started it! Gravity Floatation Centre specialises in floating—lying in a mineral-rich salt solution in a pod—which is great for muscle relaxation, stress relief and improving your sleep patterns. One of the best things to do in Melbourne after a long week.
Northcote Social Club
If you haven’t been to a gig at Northcote Social Club, you’ve been missing out on one of the best live music venues in Melbourne! Hands down, one of the best places to catch up-and-coming acts alongside bigger name musicians’ experimental side projects (erm, both good and bad..) that’s also got a killer outdoor terrace for those warmer days.
Palace Cinemas Westgarth
Showing new releases and arthouse films, the Westgarth cinema is housed in a beautiful building that’s manned by the same Palace Cinemas group that recently breathed new life into St Kilda’s The Astor Theatre. Get out there and support these good people!
Image Credit: Myrtle's Crepes by Simon Shiff for The Urban List